Housing expense ratio


2005 Housing Survey (Woonsurvey 2005), 2013 Large-Scale Housing Study (Grote Woononderzoek 2013) and 2018 Housing Survey (Woonsurvey 2018), Housing Agency - Flanders (Agentschap Wonen-Vlaanderen) Housing Support Centre (Steunpunt Wonen), processed by Statistics Flanders


Housing expense ratio: the ratio between a household’s expenditures for housing and that same household’s total disposable income.

For the housing expense ratio with only bare housing expenditures (rent or mortgage payments), the 30% norm is used to distinguish households with an affordability risk. The norm stands at 40% when the total housing expenditures are factored in, i.e. including the supplementary housing expenditures for insurance, duties, maintenance and utilities. Utilities expenditures comprise the consumption expenditures for water, gas, fuel oil and electricity, but also the shared expenditures (in the case of apartment residents).

Income quintile: when the incomes are ranked from low to high, they can be assigned to 5 equally-sized groups or quintiles, in which the lowest quintile comprises the 20% lowest incomes and the highest quintile the 20% highest incomes. The incomes are equalised based on the ‘adjusted OECD scale’.

Remarks on quality

The results shown are estimates based on a survey. Consequently, an uncertainty margin must be factored in. These are point estimates situated in an interval credited with a specific level of confidence, referred to as the confidence interval. Evolutions in figures are only statistically significant (they can be generalised to apply to the wider population) if the confidence intervals of consecutive figures do not overlap. For more details regarding the significance of the evolutions in the indicators, readers are referred to the reports of the Housing Support Centre (Steunpunt Wonen).

The 2005 and 2018 Housing Surveys (Woonsurvey) and the 2013 Large-Scale Housing Study (Grote Woononderzoek - GWO, 2013) assess the housing situation, wishes and satisfaction of households in Flanders, including the housing characteristics and the housing quality. The data serve as the basis for scientific research as well as policy preparation and policy evaluation on the topic of housing.

The sample of the survey is derived from the population of households. Where we use the word ‘sub-markets’, we are referring to the households who either own or rent their home. We are not referring to the total housing stock available in this sub-market.

2005 Housing Survey (Woonsurvey 2005):

Interviews were conducted among 5,200 families and 8,200 homes were subjected to an external inspection. The information from this ‘2005 Housing Survey’ served as the basis for a comprehensive series of analyses into the affordability, quality and security of tenure for sitting tenants of the Flemish households.

2013 Large-Scale Housing Study (Grote Woononderzoek 2013):

In 2012‐2013 this kind of survey was conducted for the second time, but this time among approximately 10,000 households. The larger sample size enabled us to draw an even more fine-meshed picture of the housing situation. For the 13 metropolitan and central cities, a sufficiently large number of households were surveyed, enabling us also to make accurate and reliable statements regarding the individual cities. Another major difference with 2005 was that this time, the survey also brought the interior of a large number of homes (5,000) objectively into focus.

2018 Housing Survey (Woonsurvey 2005):

In 2018, a standard survey involving 4 extra modules was used. These modules pertain to the characteristics of the home and the residential environment, reasons for owning one’s own home, characteristics of private tenancy/home acquisition, and attitudes towards ‘Smart housing and living’. The way in which the questions were worded was geared as widely as possible to the questions used in the 2005 Housing Survey and the 2013 Large-Scale Housing Study. This edition did not include an objective inspection of the dwelling. The sample size took in around 3,000 households in Flanders. The survey was designed in such a way that it also allowed for analyses of the social housing sector. Given the more limited scope of the sample, the data are available only at Flemish and provincial level.


Agentschap Wonen-Vlaanderen  (Housing Agency - Flanders)

Steunpunt Wonen (Housing Support Centre)


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